Ecuadorian labourer Diego Pillco, who was in America without proper documentation, was jailed for 25 years in 2008 after he was convicted of strangling the Waitress star two years earlier when she caught him trying to burgle her New York apartment.
He had been renovating another apartment in the building at the time and Shelly’s husband, Andrew Ostroy, subsequently filed a wrongful death suit against the construction company which employed Pillco, alleging the actress would still be alive if bosses at Bradford General Contractors (BGC) hadn’t hired an illegal immigrant.
However, the lawsuit has been thrown out of court after a New York judge dismissed Ostroy’s allegations.
In a ruling made public on Wednesday (06Jul11), Justice Louis York said, “While this court sympathises with (Ostroy’s) loss, plaintiffs have not presented sufficient legal grounds upon which to hold Bradford… liable for Pillco’s vicious crime… Plaintiffs’ argument, that Pillco’s undocumented status made him fearful of the authorities and therefore more likely to commit a violent crime, as opposed to fleeing the scene, is simply not logical.”
The judge also dismissed Ostroy’s claims that better security at the apartment building could have prevented his wife’s murder.
His lawyer Robert Herbst tells the New York Post, “We’re disappointed with the ruling and we intend to appeal.”